Mark Rothko (Artist)
It is here that Rothko turned to art and began painting the subway as a vision of the “underground city.” This atmosphere had low light and visual repetition, which provided a kind of “mystic New York minimalism”. During the 1940s Rothko’s imagery became increasingly symbolic and colors became the dominant element. In the course of this time, Rothko and Gottlieb had written a Manifesto which was printed in the New York Times which stated:
“We favor the simple expression of the complex thought. We are for the large shape because it has the impact of the unequivocal. We wish to reassert the picture plane. We are for flat forms because they destroy illusion and reveal truth.”
By 1947 Rothko had eliminated all elements of surrealism or mythic imagery from his works, and nonobjective compositions and geometric shapes emerged. Rothko’s work is characterized by it’s formal concerns of the elements such as color, shape, balance, depth, composition, and scale. However, he refused to solely limit his paintings to these terms.
The Rothko Chapel is a non-denominational chapel in Houston, Texas, founded by John and Dominique de Menil. The interior serves not only as a chapel, but also as a major work of modern art. On its walls are fourteen black but color hued paintings by Mark Rothko. The shape of the building, an octagon inscribed in a Greek cross, and the design of the chapel was largely influenced by the artist. Susan J. Barnes states "The Rothko Chapel...became the world's first broadly ecumenical center, a holy place open to all religions and belonging to none. It became a center for international cultural, religious, and philosophical exchanges, for colloquial and performances. And it became a place of private prayer for individuals of all faiths" #mark rothko
I was there years ago and got a bad case of the giggles. (So much for Contemplation) My gay pal and I got starred down and we had to leave . It was one of the best moments of my life.